ISLAMIC TRIBUNAL CONFIRMED IN TEXAS; ATTORNEY CLAIMS ‘IT’S VOLUNTARY’Yeah, no religion other than Islam would have a blatantly gender-biased procedure for obtaining divorce -- oh, sorry, I just remembered a movie preview I saw over the weekend, for this:
An Islamic Tribunal using Sharia law in Texas has been confirmed by Breitbart Texas. The tribunal is operating as a non-profit organization in Dallas. One of the attorneys for the tribunal said participation and acceptance of the tribunal’s decisions are “voluntary.”
Breitbart Texas spoke with one of the “judges,” Dr. Taher El-badawi. He said the tribunal operates under Sharia law as a form of “non-binding dispute resolution.” ...
El-badawi said the tribunal follows Sharia law to resolve civil disputes in family and business matters. He said they also resolve workplace disputes.
In matters of divorce, El-badawi said that “while participation in the tribunal is voluntary, a married couple cannot be considered divorced by the Islamic community unless it is granted by the tribunal.” ...
He also said there is a difference between how a man and a woman can request a divorce under their system. “The husband can request the divorce directly from the tribunal,” El-badawi stated. “The wife must go to an Imam who will request the divorce for her.” He called it “two paths to the same result.” ...
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a new Israeli film about the problems of divorce for religious Jews, has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the best foreign language film category....
Gett deals with the problematic issue in the Jewish world of religious divorce, or Gett. In Jewish law a woman must receive the official divorce decree from her husband before she can remarry. Unfortunately, many men refuse to do so, leaving their ex-wives unable to remarry.
This is not so much a problem for non-orthodox Jews around the world. But in Israel there is no civil marriage. All marriage is religious and Jewish marriages and divorces must be sanctioned by the national Rabinate.
In Gett, Viviane Amsalem has been trying to get her husband Elisha to give her a religious divorce for three years, but he has refused. So Viviane has to fight for her freedom from Elisha....
But that's Israel -- nothing like that would be allowed in America, right? Um, not true:
Rachel Balassiano is young, attractive and trapped in a marriage she cannot escape.So, yeah, there is religion-based arbitration in America that's not Muslim, and it can be sexist.
An Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn, Balassiano, 35, can’t dream of remarrying, let alone having children with another man because her husband, Maurice, refuses to give her a get, a Jewish divorce.
By Jewish law, only men have the power to end a religious marriage.
If Balassiano were to wed again, her union would be considered adultery by the Orthodox Jewish community. Her future children would be labeled mamzerim -- bastards -- and therefore not able to marry other Orthodox Jews.
Balassiano’s limbo status makes her an agunah. Translation: a chained woman.
“I am upset. I want this to end,” said the mother of three who has been separated from her husband for four years. “He doesn’t want to give me up.” ...
There's Christian arbitration in America, too. In fact, some of the language that seems to horrify the author of this Breitbart piece sounds awfully similar to what's on the sites of firms dedicated to Christian mediation:
From the Breitbart story:
The website for the Islamic Tribunal states, “The courts of the United States of America are costly and consist of ineffective lawyers. Discontent with the legal system leads many Muslims in America to postpone justice in this world and opt for an audience on the Day of Judgment.”Compare that to language on the site of Texas's Metroplex Counseling ("A Center for Biblical Soul Care"):
It goes on to state, “It is with this issue that Muslims here in America are obligated to find a way to solve conflicts and disputes according to the principles of Islamic Law and its legal heritage of fairness and justice in a manner that is reasonable and cost effective.”
When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves?...If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church?...Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. (1 Cor. 1-7a)The Breitbart story makes much of the Islam Tribunal's religious motives. Somehow, this passage from the Tribunal's site never gets quoted:
These proceedings must be conducted in accordance with the law of the land; local, state and federal within the United States. Through effective mediation and arbitration, decisions can be made that are stipulated in the Shari’ah and adhering to the binding, ethical and legal code that exists within this country with the final approval of the relevant courts and judges.If nothing the Tribunal does contradicts the laws of the U.S. or, God help us, Texas, then what the hell is the problem?